It's nice to be able to call Leelanau County home
Sealed the deal last Thursday on a new home in Bingham Township off Fort Road and M-22.
After nearly seven months of being homeless, OK, just a little kidding. I’ve been renting while my wife was working and living as an in-home health care provider on Lake Leelanau.
Still it’s good to say that I now can proudly call Leelanau County my home.
This home ownership quest started, in all seriousness, nearly three months after I joined the Enterprise staff. That was officially Aug. 26, the day when I was fortunate to sell my 975-square foot ‘crib’ in Bay City. And that’s actually how it felt at times, raising three children — in a small crib.
Selling a home today is not as easy compared to 1986 when I bought my first one — there wasn’t a glut of homes on the market. And foreclosures, I think they were one in a million back in the mid-1980s. And today, you have to go through a lot more rigmarole.
We were blessed to sell our home, which we put on the market on the Tuesday following Memorial Day. It seemed like it sold instantly compared to the horror stories friends have told me trying to sell theirs.
Still we had to pass through an inspection. We didn’t have those back when we got our first home.
Any ways, the inspections showed us what we needed to fix and did a few of them.
Turns out it didn’t matter any way. The second couple to sign a purchase agreement, who became the new homeowner, gutted the old house and the memories. They turned a three-bedroom home into two bedrooms. And they changed the landscape, cutting down a half dozen trees including one that could have been put on the White House lawn at Christmas time.
Enough about the past.
Now getting a home in Leelanau County wasn’t easy either. We went through a couple dozen homes and condominiums.
One day, we found two that we liked and put a bid and purchase agreement on the place we now call home.
Then came the inspection. From a buyer’s perspective, an inspection of a home is an invaluable tool. Even priceless, I might add.
We threw down five Ben Franklins for a list of much-needed repairs, but walked away when the price of the repairs including much-needed heat couldn’t be negotiated.
On to House No. 2, a brand-spanking new one. Same process, same result. Too many fixes, not enough money to get them done.
I thought for a moment that this could be a long winter ... and a lot more house shopping.
But then the price on House No. 1 dropped and the Realtor for the bank-owned home asked us to “belly back up to the bar.”
Don’t recall a bar being in that first home, but we went back for another sip any way. After all, my wife had put out a couple of baskets on the porch a month earlier when she thought this was ‘the home.’
I thought my time searching and the extra days of being homeless was worth a few extra Grover Cleveland’s.
We made an offer, but the counter wasn’t even a grand less. So we took a walk, again.
A couple weeks after getting the walking papers, the price dropped again and this time the realtor asked us to resubmit our previous bid.
We did, but then someone else did, too. We ended up in a bidding war! I discovered quickly this battle was nothing like a gas war and we had to up the ante.
We won the bidding and as they say, the rest is history.
We have a 2,100-square foot home. No kids to speak of now and we’re in a great neighborhood with a lot of good neighbors. And we have a seasonal view of Grand Traverse West Bay.